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A Message from Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic

Post from Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic - December 4, 2018

The Passing of President George H.W. Bush

Signing of the ADA

As we take time this week to honor and celebrate the life of President George H.W. Bush, I am reminded of the pivotal role he played in the passage of one of the most consequential statutes that the EEOC enforces - the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA").  President Bush took a leadership role in advocating on behalf of the ADA while he was Vice President and signed the legislation into law as President on July 26th, 1990.

Flanked by Evan Kemp, who would later become EEOC Chair, President Bush declared that with the signing of the ADA, "… every man, woman, and child with a disability can now pass through once-closed doors into a bright new era of equality, independence, and freedom."  

He described the ADA as "…powerful in its simplicity. It will ensure that people with disabilities are given the basic guarantees for which they have worked so long and so hard: independence, freedom of choice, control of their lives, the opportunity to blend fully and equally into the rich mosaic of the American mainstream. Legally, it will provide our disabled community with a powerful expansion of protections and then basic civil rights. It will guarantee fair and just access to the fruits of American life which we all must be able to enjoy."

The EEOC has worked tirelessly to see that the promise President Bush spoke of became a reality.

We know our work is important and making a difference, but we also know there's more to do. As President Bush rightly noted during his speech that day nearly 30 years ago, "(t)ogether, we must remove the physical barriers we have created and the social barriers that we have accepted. For ours will never be a truly prosperous nation until all within it prosper."